Monday, January 27, 2014

Anticipation...(TLG) is keeping me waiting!

I arrived in Hawaii on the 7th. Today is the 27th. I won't even get my ticket for Georgia until Wednesday the 29th or later.

Don't get me wrong, there are worse places to be stranded than Hawaii. I really love it here. And there are worse people to be stranded with. My aunt and her family have been fantastic hosts, housing me and feeding me plenty longer than they had signed up for.

Still, the longer I wait, the harder it gets.

After all, I'm waiting for the next big experience in my life to start. And I can't know exactly what it will be like until I am in a country I've never been to with people I've never met who mainly speak a language I'm only beginning to learn. All I know is that my world will be different while I'm there. And I'll be different when I leave.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ain't No Mountain (That Isn't) High Enough

And the mountains! Civilization may only grow where the mountains allow. They still stand tall and proud all over the island. But why wouldn’t they? This island was always theirs. They were here when somehow, some seeds made their way across the ocean, and the rains watered them, and their roots began to reach out and take hold of any surface that would allow the intrusion. And the mountains still stand as men and women lay the foundations for houses and clear the way for roads and sidewalks. Trees, houses? What is the difference to a mountain?

And they were here when somehow, insects and animals made it to the island, and ants crawled along their arms and spines. And when the first humans arrived, swelling with pride as they drew closer to the great discovery that would affirm their diligent craftsmanship and vast knowledge of the seas and stars, and yet remind them of their humble place as small creatures in a big and beautiful world. And the mountains are still here now, as ants and people and many creatures inbetween still crawl across their skin. Ants, humans? What is the difference to a mountain?

They may not be eternal, but they will live longer than any of us. They will stand until the powers of heaven decide to reshape the surface of earth, pulling the whole chain of islands into the heart of the planet to melt them down and reshape them into some new masterpiece.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I've Got (One) Ticket to Paradise!

So by the end of January, I’ll be in Georgia (the country) settling in for a year of teaching English.  I had decided to use a soon-to-expire ticket credit to visit family in Hawaii first and fly to Georgia from there. Now the program I am working for, Teach and Learn, is having to find a new insurance provider. Bad news? I have to wait even longer to get a better picture of what the next year of my life is going to be. Good news? I’ll probably have at least one extra week in paradise.

And Hawaii really is paradise. 

It’s totally different from Arkansas, yet it feels familiar somehow. Something about the air reminds me of Japan, and the exposed rock of the cliffs jutting out into the water reminds me of Ireland.

 Or perhaps there is just a certain magic that lingers on all islands.  

I flew into Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu. Even with all of the traffic and skyscrapers that accompany human modernity, the island is green and lush. More variations of palm trees than I even knew existed grow throughout the island, even downtown. The sky overhead is a bright and healthy blue with fluffy clouds rolling in from over the ocean.  

Ah, the ocean. It’s gorgeous! From up high, the water is a deep blue that fades into brighter shades as it nears the shore. From up close, you see that it’s really clear. Crystal clear. Even when the sand is stirred up and the waves turn brown, they aren’t a mucky brown like in a mud puddle or pond. It’s more like seeing clouds of brown sand being gathered up and carried to the shore by the clear water.